OTTAWA, Sept. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Stephen Harper's dismal track record on
early childhood education and care (ECEC) is failing families, with Canada
barely out of the starting block in comparison to the programs and services
other countries provide, says Code Blue for Child Care.
The coalition today staged a "race" between nations at a local child care
centre to underscore Canada's last-place international ranking on spending and
programs for children and families.
"In this election, parents are looking for progressive leadership that is
in step with their lived economic stresses," said Code Blue spokesperson,
Susan Harney. "It's shocking that a major industrialized nation is so far
behind the times."
Canada's low ranking is cited in a report by the Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development comparing the family policies and
spending of 14 developed nations.
Harney said Code Blue will be monitoring party positions on ECEC
throughout the election campaign to determine which political party "can get
us to the top." The campaign issued its first report card today, showing that
of all the parties, the Conservatives are the most out of touch with today's
"I don't know what Mr. Harper expects parents to do when good child care
costs so much and is so hard to find," said Michel Laflamme, a father of two
young children. "A hundred dollar-a-month taxable allowance doesn't help very
much when parents face child care costs of up to $10,000 a year-and can't even
find a space to begin with."
Code Blue is calling for a political commitment to move from a patchwork
to a child care system, with increased federal funding starting at
$1.2 billion more in the first year, and legislation to ensure the funds are
used for expanding non-profit services.
"We always hear the politicians talk about how important children and
families are," said Sandra Harding, a New Brunswick parent of five. "But after
all these years, we're still waiting for action on child care. Other countries
are doing it. Why can't we?"
For further information:
For further information: Jenny Robinson, Code Blue for Child Care, (416)
938-2625 (cell); Andrea Calver, Media Relations, (416) 434-8031 (cell);
Kathleen O'Grady, Media Relations, (514) 886-2526 (cell)